tutor | tarek sinno
THE AUCTION HOUSE
It would seem at first that an auction house – a place where surplus capital is invested in non-essential collectibles the value of which is fluid – is by definition a space for the few: an exclusive platform that is disengaged from the day-to-day realities of the city. By questioning its seemingly hermetic quality, the auction house was turned into a peculiar site of re-inquiry. What presented itself was an opportunity to reflect critically on urban realities, examine the social value of architecture and put forward differently-possible, more inclusive local narratives.
Within this general framework, the studio was structured around four main phases addressing specific learning objectives. A short first exercise examined structural logics or architectural space through back and forth cycles of analytical observation and investigative prototyping, with the aim of more intuitively incorporating structure within the design thinking process. Next, a re-telling of the story of the “Abdel Wahab Al Inglizi” neighborhood in the format of a creative mapping was undertook. The analysis challenged the position of the context as a found object, and that of the architect as neutral observer. The last two phases closely explored the project on the conceptual, programmatic, spatial, tectonic and representational levels. All through, constrains pertaining to site, building codes, universal access and life safety were addressed both pragmatically and poetically, equally furthering the design thinking and product.